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Basketball

TNT makes successful PBA PH Cup return as ROS struggles continue


TNT returned to action on a triumphant note by taking down Rain or Shine, 79-69, in the 2021 PBA Philippine Cup, Friday at the Ynares Sports Arena in Pasig.

The Tropang Giga played their first game back since being placed under health and safety protocols after four players were suspected to have contracted COVID-19, but hardly showed any on the way to their second win.

Troy Rosario starred for the flagship MVP ball club with 13 points and 14 rebounds as they handed the Elasto Painters their second loss in a row.

Roger Pogoy finished with 13 points as well, while new acquisition Glenn Khobuntin provided 10 markers, five boards, and two dimes.

“We came into this ball game really looking to win it with our defense, kasi nakita naman sa opensa namin, sakit sa mata ng opensa namin,” said head coach Chot Reyes as his wards limited RoS to just 34-percent shooting.

“Sabi namin, ‘Let’s just figure out a way to make stops and win this game with our defense.’ We held them to below 70, so I thought we played a pretty good defensive ball game,” added the champion mentor.

TNT began pulling away late in the second period, with former league MVP Kelly Williams and Glenn Khobuntin conniving for a mini 6-0 run to turn a slim lead to a 43-33 lead heading into the halftime intermission.

The Tropa then kept the opposition at bay the rest of the way. They went on to lead by as many as 16 points, following a split from the foul line by the debuting Mikey Williams with only 2:03 left in the game.

#ReadMore  Bong Ravena explains Jayson Castro's limited minutes

Williams finally played his first PBA game after missing their season opener versus Terrafirma as he was still clearing quarantine then. He had seven points, three assists, two rebounds, and a steal in nearly 28 minutes.

“He’ll be the first to tell you that it was far from impressive. However, it’s pretty evident how he gets his teammates involved. And I think the good part here is, his teammates like playing with him,” said Reyes.

Meanwhile, Rain or Shine failed to bounce back from its historic 48-74 defeat to the Alaska Aces last Wednesday, where they produced the second-lowest output by any PBA team in league history.

Javee Mocon, who went scoreless last game, had 22 points to lead the Elasto Painters, who have fallen to 3-2 in the standings.

The Scores:

TNT (79) – Rosario 13, Pogoy 13, Khobuntin 10, Castro 9, M. Williams 7, Heruela 6, Alejandro 6, K. Williams 6, Montalbo 5, Erram 4, Marcelo 0.

Rain or Shine (69) – Mocon 22, Borboran 12, Johnson 7, Caracut 6, Norwood 6, Torres 5, Ponferada 5, Nambatac 4, Wong 2, Belga 0, Santillan 0.

Quarterscores: 22-19, 43-33, 64-52, 79-69.

Written By

Oftentimes on the sidelines. Forever a student of the game. Morayta-bred.


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